Take Tech to Education Construction Projects
September 07, 2012
Managing facilities maintenance and capital improvements at a university requires careful planning and detailed reporting. In order to enable this, many program and facilities managers have implemented technology to help complete the job as efficiently as possible.
Take the recent example of Montclair State University, www.montclair.edu, Montclair, N.J., which is the second largest public institution of higher education in the state of New Jersey. The division of university facilities has a five-year capital improvement plan estimated at more than $650 million.
As it is growing, the university realized it needed owner-focused construction software to keep up with academics and the capital master plan.
In the past, the university used spreadsheets for cost tracking and completed paper-based submittals, which was time consuming. Now, the organization is using program-management software from Systemates, www.systemates.com, Dallas, Texas, for budget and cost tracking, document management, construction workflow, and collaboration from concept through closeout. The technology also integrates with the university’s enterprise-accounting software.
Of the 22 high-priority projects in the capital master plan, the university will use the technology to manage several hall renovations, student housing renovations, and parking and road improvements. On these projects, the university will be able to track commitments and expenditures and perform in-depth financial reporting to help reduce cost overruns.
This particular university has chosen to host and manage the software onsite—although the software can be self-hosted or vendor-hosted. Additionally, the technology is completely Web-based, allowing the organization to access data from anywhere.
Systemates Vice President Hemant Bhave says the university has added Wi-Fi hotspots across campus, meaning project managers, contractors, and others will be able to access the software on the jobsite through laptops, iPads, and other mobile devices.
Project teams working on education construction projects today need to keep a close eye on the budget, while managing disparate teams and providing visibility to partners. Software, such as this being used at Montclair State University, can help manage capital improvement plans.
To learn more about collaboration, BIM (building information modeling), mobility, and ongoing maintenance trends in education construction projects, check out the recent Project Podium discussion where technology vendors address these topics and more.